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Proven: purebred breeds are more prone to disease

The largest canine genetic study of its kind reveals which diseases mixed-breed and pure-breed dogs are most likely to develop.

A recent study examining the DNA of more than 100,000 dogs, conducted by Wisdom Health & Genoscoper Laboratories, the laboratory business unit created by Mars Petcare to contribute to its purpose of providing a better world for pets, found that purebred dogs are more likely to be affected by the most common diseases. The three body systems most commonly affected in purebred and mixed breed dog populations are: The Vision Nervous system Circulatory system "There has been a traditional perception that mongrel dogs are less prone to disease than pure-bred dogs. This DNA-based evidence shows that while mongrel dogs are actually less likely to develop the recessive disorders assessed in the study, they can be carriers," said Cindy Cole, Wisdom Health General Manager. The results show that of the 152 proven diseases that dogs can genetically develop: Approximately 2 out of 100 mongrel dogs are at risk of being affected and 40 out of 100 are carriers of at least one of the diseases. Approximately 5 out of 100 pure-bred dogs are at risk of being affected and 28 out of 100 are carriers of at least one of the diseases. The research also showed that with proactive management of hereditary disorders through the use of DNA testing and through healthy breeding practices, some diseases appear to have been eradicated from the breeds. As demonstrated by the case of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID), a mutation originally found in Basset Hounds that appears to have been eradicated, breeders and veterinarians can work to reduce the incidence of genetic diseases in dogs. Although this technology is not yet available locally, dog owners seeking to take this proactive step in the preventive care of their pets can purchase tools such as the WISDOM canine DNA test PANEL™ Health, always recommended for use in conjunction with veterinary care. This advanced technology allows owners to easily and economically explore the genetics of the pet for the detection of diseases and breeds. It is available for the recognition of more than 250 breeds, types and varieties and for the detection of more than 150 disease-causing mutations. "What is always recommended to owners is that they share the results with their veterinarian to discuss the future care of the pet," explained Fernanda Serralta, Technical Service Veterinary in Mars Argentina. "For owners, understanding the genetic diseases that can affect their dog can help them and their veterinarians design a personalized care and welfare program for their dog," said Jonas Donner, PhD, chief scientist at Genoscoper. "In broader terms, for veterinarians to understand what disorders are common throughout the general population is extremely valuable information for the future of proactive medical care.  The use of genetic tools for tracking and eradicating diseases in different populations can, over time, have a positive effect on pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs.

Publication Date: 23/09/2018

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